This article will be useful for people who wants to speak in front of a crowd without any fear.
Glossophobia or speech anxiety is the fear of public speaking. If you have those sweaty palms, shivering hands, squeamish feelings in your stomach, rapid breathing, and a dry mouth before you go onstage, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. In fact, it has been found that more than 95% of people are scared of giving a public speech or performing a public act and this goes way above death and spiders in the list of things that people fear the most.
We must understand that a little amount of stage fear is actually good. It helps us prepare and boosts up our adrenaline and pumps up our energy levels. But it should not be so acute that it starts to cripple our confidence and our career. Here are a few ways in which you can alleviate your stage fear.
Prepare and Practice
"A person who fails to prepare is a person who is preparing for failure”
The two Ps, thorough preparation and practice is the best possible key to a good presentation. Go through the material carefully and organize what you have to tell in a way such that the audience will find it easy to understand and assimilate. Anticipate all the easy and hard questions that may come your way while you do the presentation and also make a mental note of how best to answer those questions. This will prevent you from balking when someone asks a question. Once you are sure that you have prepared very well your confidence levels will automatically boost up and your nerves will hold longer than you had expected them to once you are on the stage.
Practicing again and again will go a long way in ensuring that you make a great presentation. Once you have decided on what you are going to speak, concentrate on how you are going to speak. The major work is done and so now we can start ironing out the nuances. Stand in front of the mirror and see how your body, and in particular your hands move. Notice your pitch and the speed at which you deliver the words. Too fast and it shows that you are nervous and your audience will have a hard time catching up with you; Too slow and they will start slumbering. Maintain a moderate pace so that they can ride along with you.
Come to terms with the fact that things can go wrong
Now that you have done your two Ps you must also accept the fact that you cannot control anything that is outside your sphere of influence. People from the audience can treat you with negative remarks or gestures but you should never allow them to get on your nerves. This can seriously injure your performance. The best trick to deal with this is to imagine your audience doing something silly (like wearing funny clothes, or having whiskers drawn on their faces). This will soothe you and make you more tolerant with your audience.
Also be aware that you can indeed make a mistake sometimes. After all everyone is mortal and we are prone to making errors. Every single person in the audience would definitely have had their own embarrassing moments. Accepting this can drastically reduce your fear of making a mistake.
Mug up your opening line so that even if you are too nervous to think, you can spit up the opening line. A few minutes into your speech you will start warming up.
It is very important that you relax the day before your big day. Take the speech thing out of your mind and indulge in something that you love. Listen to music, have a nice long bath, water your plants, rent a funny movie and laugh your head off. Make sure you get ample amount of sleep the night before the speech. This will leave you feeling fresh and confident the next day.
On your big day make sure that you eat something light. You don’t want to be feeling queasy along with everything else. Make sure that you arrive at your destination well before the scheduled time. But you also don’t want to arrive too early and spend a lot of time worrying about your performance. Once you are on the spot you can do some stretching, shoulder and neck rolls and arm swings to alleviate the tension in your muscles. Take a few deep breaths and try to relax. Smile, because studies have shown that when we smile we automatically tickle the pleasure sensors in our brain. Smells also have a relaxing effect on people (esp. jasmine and lavender). You can spray some on your Kleenex and inhale it to reassure your brain that everything is OK.
Tips and Tricks on Stage
Before you go onstage talk to someone to make sure that your voice is fine. Have a sip of water and then walk on to the stage with a confident upward posture. Remember that people are here to watch your performance and not to watch you. Try not to be self-conscious. If you feel your legs shaking, lean on the podium or try walking. Don’t carry notes with you as they will betray your trembling hands. Carry three by five cards that fit smugly in your palm. Don’t fidget or put your hands in your pocket.
Browse through the audience and identify a few friendly faces all around the room. When you are talking, take turns to look at those faces. This will give the illusion that you are making eye contact with everyone and will also prevent you from fixating at any one point of the room.
If you do make a mistake DO NOT panic. Instead be happy that the worst is over. Move on and complete your performance with aplomb.
Once you start practicing all this you will find that performing on stage is not a big deal after all. So purge all your self-doubts and deliver your speech with splendor and confidence